Alex Jones’ lawyers “messed up” and sent his legal opponents “every text message” he has sent in the last two years. This contradicts Jones’ longtime claim that he had nothing saved on his phone about the Sandy Hook school shooting, which he has always called a hoax. The information came to light Wednesday at his defamation trial. The news came to light during a conversation between Jones and Mark Bankston, an attorney for the parents of a six-year-old boy killed in the 2012 attack, in an Austin, Texas, courtroom.
Alex Jones Texts Mistakenly Sent To Sandy Hook Family’s Lawyers
Jones, a vocal far-right conspiracy theorist, told his millions of followers for years that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax, that no children were killed and that the parents were “crisis actors” in a plot to enforce gun control laws. In a defamation lawsuit against the well-known radio host, the parents of six-year-old Jesse Lewis are seeking at least $150 million (£123 million).
Bankston handed the Infowars host a copy of a text message criticizing his platform’s coverage of the coronavirus in 2020 and comparing it to his false theory that the Sandy Hook shootings were faked. That was very bad for Jones, who had said under oath in a deposition that he had no text messages on his phone talking about the Sandy Hook shooting.
“You did get my text messages, didn’t you?” Alex Jones asked him as Bankston sat on the witness stand. Alex Jones said with a sarcastic laugh, “You said you didn’t have them. “Nice move.”
Bankston asked, “Do you know where I got that from? Your lawyers made a mistake and sent me a digital copy of your entire phone, including all the text messages you’ve sent over the last two years.
Bankston said he informed Jones’ attorneys of the mistake, but they did “nothing” to mark the texts as private and keep them out of court.
“That’s how I know you lied when you said you didn’t have any text messages about Sandy Hook,” said Bankston, whose clients are Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of Jesse Lewis, who was killed in the shooting.
Jones tried to defend himself by saying he wouldn’t have given his phone to lawyers, who then sent the texts to Bankston by mistake if he had been trying to hide something.
“If I was wrong, I was wrong,” Jones said. “But you already know what they mean.”
Jones poked fun at Bankston, saying he had his “Perry Mason moment.” Perry Mason was a TV lawyer who often won cases by getting the people he questioned to admit wrongdoing on the stand.
“You know what lying is, don’t you?” Bankston said this about lying under oath being a crime. “Before we go any further, I just want to make sure.”
Jones said that was true, but he wasn’t trying to hide anything on his phone.
Shortly after the interesting conversation, Rolling Stone reported that the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump would subpoena Alex Jones’ texts.
According to the news source, committee members wanted to find out if Jones, a far-right provocateur, had spoken to Trump’s team before the riot at the Capitol.
All of this made Jones’ already bad day even worse. Jones previously said he knew it had been stupid to claim the Sandy Hook killings didn’t happen.
Alex Jones said, “It was, especially now that I’ve met the parents,” during a trial to decide how much money he owes for defaming the family of Jesse Lewis, one of the 20 children and six adults killed at his school in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.
Jones spoke a day after Heslin and Lewis testified about the mental pain, death threats, and harassment they suffered as a result of Jones’ remarks on Infowars and his other media platforms.
Lewis’s parents said Tuesday that they are demanding much more than an apology from Jones. They want him to pay at least $150 million in damages to be held accountable for the lies he repeatedly told to downplay the shooting.
Jones’s side has asked jurors to limit Alex Jones’ damages to $1. They say Jones couldn’t have known the plaintiffs would be harassed, so he shouldn’t have to pay for it.
On Wednesday afternoon, the seventh day of the trial, both sides made their final arguments. Then, around 4:30 p.m. local time, jurors began talking about how they should decide the case. They were to decide whether and how much he should pay the victims for defamation and causing them to feel bad, and whether he should pay punitive damages.
Jones was the only person to testify for him and his media company, Free Speech Systems, in the defense. Jones said the lawsuit was an attack on his First Amendment rights.
He told his attorney, Andino Reynal, that he now knows it is dangerous to spread the lie that no one was killed in the Sandy Hook shootings. Jones, on the other hand, said the media would not let him “take it back.”
Last September, the judge assigned to the case reprimanded Alex Jones for not giving Sandy Hook families the documents they requested.
In another case brought by other Sandy Hook parents, a Connecticut court issued a default judgment against Jones for the same reasons.
Jones, on the other hand, has sought to protect Free Speech Systems’ finances. Last week, the company filed for bankruptcy protection with the government.
The families of Sandy Hook have sued Jones themselves over his financial claims. They claim the company is hiding millions belonging to Jones and his family behind shell companies.
Bankston showed an email during the defamation trial that showed Infowars made $800,000 in a single day in 2018. In a year, that would add up to $300 million.